acm-header
Sign In

Communications of the ACM

Communications of the ACM

Designing computer system messages


tive computer systems and studies of their users, we have become increasingly aware of the importance of system messages. Novice users are unimpressed with CPU speeds, disk storage capabilities, or elegant file structures. For them, the system appears only in the form of the messages on their screens or printers. So when novices encounter violent messages such as “FATAL ERROR, RUN ABORTED”, vague phases like “ILLEGAL CMD”, or obscure codes such as “OC7” or “IEH2191”, they are understandably shaken, confused, dismayed, and discouraged from continuing. The negative image that computer systems sometimes generate is, we believe, largely due to the difficulties users experience when they make mistakes or are unsure about what to do next.

The full text of this article is premium content


 

No entries found

Log in to Read the Full Article

Sign In

Sign in using your ACM Web Account username and password to access premium content if you are an ACM member, Communications subscriber or Digital Library subscriber.

Need Access?

Please select one of the options below for access to premium content and features.

Create a Web Account

If you are already an ACM member, Communications subscriber, or Digital Library subscriber, please set up a web account to access premium content on this site.

Join the ACM

Become a member to take full advantage of ACM's outstanding computing information resources, networking opportunities, and other benefits.
  

Subscribe to Communications of the ACM Magazine

Get full access to 50+ years of CACM content and receive the print version of the magazine monthly.

Purchase the Article

Non-members can purchase this article or a copy of the magazine in which it appears.
Sign In for Full Access
» Forgot Password? » Create an ACM Web Account